The Crooked Canes Journal


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Giant's Nubble and Roaring Brook Falls Hike ~ Sep 30, 2014

Journal entry by Wanderer



With the weather forecast seemingly random I didn't know what to do. It had gone from rain, to partly cloudy, then back to rain again for the Keene Valley area - all in 24 hours. Within an hour of the scheduled departure time it was back to cloudy with possible showers - too late to cancel or change to my back-up plan of Blue Mountain - so off to Giant's Nubble and Roaring Brook Falls. The ten Caners at the WCMC were upbeat despite being very cloudy - I promised that it would get better as we traveled north, but there were some skeptics. It didn't help any that I had to put on the wipers a few times to remove the "dew" or receiving a text message from Kurt, following behind us, saying "I thought you said it was going to get better as we traveled north" (have no fear - Diane was driving). By the time we stopped at the High Peaks Rest Area there was some improvement but not quite what I had promised. A short time later, as we reached the Chapel Pond trailhead, there were some patches of blue sky so I was feeling a little more confident and maybe even a little cocky to the skeptics. We met Eric and Karen Burka, who are always up-beat, so that helped and after returning from dropping off a car at the Roaring Brook Falls trailhead we were off - that is most of the group - Tom, Don, Linda and Eric started out ahead of us so that they wouldn't hold us up (ha-ha!). It was only a few minutes before we made our first stop to remove a layer of clothes and off again we went, climbing the steep trail. The trail was dry, allowing for secure footing and before we knew it had arrived at the first of many overlooks - this one providing a view of the Chapel Pond Slides, a popular rock climbing venue, Chapel Pond itself and a nice view of the Great Range. Continuing the climb, it wasn't long before we reached Giant's Washbowl and its colorful shoreline with its muted reflection on the pond's surface. It wasn't difficult to see that we were in an extended dry period - there was much less water than in past years. Not seeing any evidence of our four "slower" hikers we took a break and then headed up again to the intersection of the trail to the Nubble. Again, no sign of the four musketeers so we figured they went on to Giant and would catch up with us later - just kidding. This begins a particularly pretty section of the trail, less steep, with overlooks to pause and enjoy the views of the Washbowl and Chapel Pond below, and Round Mountain and the Great Range. The colors were spectacular and certainly at or near peak, with the clouds and breaks of sun casting shadows along the unbroken expanse of forest - views that I have seen many times before but never get tired of. The trail continues to climb some, but not a challenge any longer, until we reach the cutoff to the Nubble and in a short distance to its open summit. To our surprise (we pretended) we finally caught up to the rest of our group who had just sat down. This is a short hike so lingering is encouraged and we certainly did that - Linda even brought me a sandwich - perhaps she felt sorry for me that Jim I. wasn't with us, along with his picnic lunch that he always shares with me. The weather was perfect with lots of sun and the clouds only helped to accent the blue sky and the fall colors of the mountains and valleys. It is all down from the Nubble, the trail descending mostly through hardwoods - all ablaze now - crossing Roaring Brook upstream from the falls and then continuing downward to the side trail to the top of the falls and an incredible view. We met a couple of groups that had hiked from the bottom - visited and took in the afternoon sun. Still relatively early, we departed for the last section of the trail to the bottom with most of us hiking the short distance to the base of the falls. We tried to imagine how it would look like had there been lots of water flowing instead of the trickle - maybe a return trip in the spring. An incredible fall day with good friends - thanks to Diane & Kurt, Eric, Tom, Gail, Barbara, Cathy C., Lynn, Don, Karen Burka and Linda for making it a memorable one. Peter 10/4/14 - Diane Wisell added 12 photos. 10/7/14 - Wanderer . added 21 photos.

33 photos



Some cultures believe crows or owls are bad omens. Pileated Woodpeckers must certainly be a good omen, as this one, present at the trail head upon our arrival, brought sun, warmth and a great day to twelve lucky Canes and saved Peter's otherwise deteriorating bacon. - added by Diane



Rest spots on steep rocky climbs don't get much better than this. - added by Diane



Great expectations fulfilled at the first lookout. - added by Diane



Classic Adirondack view at the iconic Giant Washbowl. - added by Diane



"If Ray was here, he'd know what this is!" On steep climbs, even fungi sweat a little. - added by Diane



Now spooked by skeptics, Peter checks the sky for rain once again. - added by Diane



Sir Thomas summits once again. - added by Diane



A ganoderma lucidum or Hemlock Varnish Shelf. This one unique in that it has three fruiting bodies rather than the typical single fruiting body. Mostly found on dead hemlock, but occasionally pine or fir. - added by Diane



More Hemlock Varnish Shelf - added by Diane



The entire Troupe on top of Roaring Brook Falls. - added by Diane



Sir Thomas signals "Mahalo" from the top of the falls while Kathy memorizes the names of thirty seven peaks Peter points out. - added by Diane



Even with the very dry conditions, the bottom of Roaring Brook Falls is nice. Much of the loose rock on the right slid down from above during the last year, partially filling what was once a significantly larger pool. - added by Diane



Most of the group at the trailhead - added by Wanderer



There is a trail in there somewhere - added by Wanderer



Sometimes it is good to be the sweep - added by Wanderer



Break time - added by Wanderer



Kurt in the lead - added by Wanderer



Chapel Pond Slabs with some color - still a bit cloudy - added by Wanderer



Chapel Pond - added by Wanderer



Part of the Great Range - added by Wanderer



Giant's Washbowl - added by Wanderer



View of Giant's Washbowl and south from above - added by Wanderer



Giant Mountain - teasing us for a view of its summit - added by Wanderer



Linda pointing out the names of the surrounding peaks - notice how everyone was paying close attention! - added by Wanderer



Now that is a cloud! - added by Wanderer



Some color on the slopes - added by Wanderer



Great Pic Tom! - added by Wanderer



Finally a view of the top of Giant - added by Wanderer



Headed down - added by Wanderer



Roaring Brook at the top - added by Wanderer



View of the Great Range from the top of the falls - added by Wanderer



View from the top of the Falls - added by Wanderer



At the bottom of Roaring Brook Falls - can barely see the top - added by Wanderer



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